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Afghanistan 17, Hawaii 9, Us 8, Southwest Afghanistan 6, Kabul 4, Taliban 3, Helman 3, San Francisco 3, U.s. 3, United States 2, Ak 2, Lewis 2, Schultz 1, Mrs. Schultz 1, Narco 1, Nita 1, Mrs. Perry 1, Unit 1, Barry Newland 1, Nina 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    November 30, 2012
    6:30 - 7:00am PST  

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fascinating story. >> before i begin, i'm very happy i don't have to talk to you about my current position, which is with the 112th congress of the united states. i'm very pleased to talk to you about my year in afghanistan. i'd like to thank the san francisco fleet week association, lewis loeven, specifically, major general myat, always a mentor, former secretary of state schultz and mrs. schultz, mrs. perry, honored to be in your presence. the uss makin island, chief of the fairest city in the world, san francisco, and he esteemed professionals. this is nice, i'm going to move south of here and take you to afghanistan. as you know we have marines, soldiers, sailors in afghanistan currently, but
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i'm going to bring you to when i was there during 2010 and 2011 after the president decided to surge the forces. first marine decision, first marine expeditionary force forward entered southwest afghanistan during 2009. we arrived in 2010 so it was a bit more stable. and we went straight to helman and nimruz province. very complex dynamic environment that we were operating in but before i begin it talk to you about the operational picture, i just want to give you a snapshot of afghanistan. when we got there i want to set the frame here so you understand what we're dealing with. afghanistan ranged 180th
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out of 1 86 on the world bank list of developed countries. 20 percent of the babies won't reach their first year of life. there is a 44 year life span for your average citizen. it has a less than 20 percent literacy rate and girls in afghanistan will marry by the time they are 15 and will likely birth their second child by the time they are 20. so this is the long-term effects of violence and civil wars within a failed state by every measure. the marines who are currently still in southwest afghanistan, they are surrounded by very conservative culture. in 2010, this is not true now but narco trafficking and helman province alone was the fourth largest trafficker
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of heroin in the world. the taliban controlled the region and this is the environment that the marines came into in 2009 and subsequently it has stabilized significantly since then. so the primary mission of marines in southwest afghanistan is security. but our secondary mission is to assist our interagency partners in kick starting institutions that contribute to a stable nation state. as an educator i joined the team to oversee the portfolio of education and was given the opportunity to implement the country's education strategic plan over the southwest provinces. additionally i was given the national action plan for women and control of two female engagement teams which were marines trained to interact with the population of women because of the pashi culture, the males were not allowed to
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interact with the women. in order obviously to ensure communities stay strong you have to not only address the men, but you absolutely need to address the women. so we created the female engagement team. with our interagency partners, the u.s. department of state, danish and british governments and of course the afghans, additionally we reached out to the private sector for partnerships, and not for profits to deliver things that we weren't capable of delivering or to cover gaps that arose as we implemented the plan. we implemented the plan through 17 teams through helman and our two female engagement teams. this is actually just scrolling pictures. sometimes a picture says a thousand words and i don't want to take you down the whole history of a year but i wanted to talk to you about how we framed this plan. this plan was framed into 5
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pillars and the 5 pillars were students and parents, we attempted to build buy in and assure safety among the students. there was lots of fear of reprisals. by sending your kids to school there was fear that the taliban was going to knock on your door and let you know that that wasn't allowed. previously the taliban had instituted a medrossas so their only forms of education were religious schools and those are religious schools for boys. teachers. there is no teaching force in afghanistan so one focus was building that teaching force for the future and for students. can urriculum, this is sanitizing can urriculum that existing and distributing new can urriculum paid for by the japanese government. now, i say sanitized, the can
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urriculum that the marines walked into was soviet era can urriculum. what the soviets had done, and if you want to change a community or you want to change a country, you focus on the education system. and this was indicative in the can urriculum. you would see ak 47's and it would go through the whole nomenclature of ak 47's and it was k through 3 can urriculum. so the marines would grab that and substitute our stuff, which was focus on reading and writing. of course we facilitated the distribution of korans because this is an islamic country. initially we focused on brick and morter construction,
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renovation, after about a generation of violence you can beat these schools were destroyed. if we needed to build new ones, we certainly did, but we always made sure the afghans understood they had the ultimate responsibility of maintaining this once we leave. finally, girls in school. as i mentioned, literacy rate was 20 percent. that was country-wide. in southwest afghanistan that literacy rate was women was 8 percent. so you have to work very hard to get an 8 percent literacy rate for women, which means you actually have to stop and implement policies to make sure that women actually couldn't partake in any learning, any health systems, anything that would contribute to their growth. so girls in school, big focus area. we wanted to reverse the effects of the state of women and girls in afghanistan. so once the security foot hold was gained in southwest afghanistan by the marines in 2010 and 2011 and they continued to conduct
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operations as i'm speaking, we began to build capacity at every level to ensure the afghans are ultimately able to take the helm of their own destiny and they have the capacity to run this system. we instituted assessments for growth in schools, we create the thresholds for the complete turn over to the afghans and we ensured that there were actual funding lines present so the kabul ministry can make sure the money what was given to them by foreign governments made it all the way down to that teacher or that principal or that district supervisor for schools. and one thing we did which hadn't been done since 1978 before the invasion of the soviets was we actually brought down the ministry of education to southwest afghanistan. it had been 35 years since that happened. it was too
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dangerous, way too dangerous. so currently i'll give you a snapshot. in 2007 there were no girls in school in southwest afghanistan. the taliban ran the medrossas, those are gone now. currently if you walked into southwest afghanistan you would see many marines but you would also see 25,000 kids in school. you would see close to 3,000 girls. there is a teacher's college that has been renovated in the big city and there are aspiring teachers studying at that college. there are women's centers established in two of those districts and there are afghan parents and educators involved in their local schools. and to just pull a thread on what many of our senior leadership has said throughout the couple of days, indeed the u.s. military is a global force for good and we will always seek opportunities to leave every place better than when we
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arrived. and i appreciate your time, appreciate your attention. thank you. . (applause). >> thank you, nita, following along we're going to have colonel barry newland. >> thanks, lewis. i'd like to thank nina for doing a great job of setting the stage so i don't have to go through and do the same thing. so great job. i do not in these slides, any pictures, i will only speak briefly. lewis asked me to come and speak on this last day of the fleet week discussions because he thought that my experiences with the afghan police might shed some light on the current news, the troubling news out there of all the attacks on our uniformed personnel by uniformed afghans and it's only been pretty
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recent in the news that the increases happened so he thought i might be able to add some background information on that. for about 6 months i was the senior advisor to the chief of police for kabul city police department in the capitol. back at the end of 2009-2010, we real laiz that we probably spent a great deal of money and effort on trying to transform the afghan army and we probably neglected the police force. and the reason that realization was so important was because the police in afghanistan are not what we consider traditional police. there's a number of police officers in the audience that could understood this. in afghanistan, the police are not so concerned with traffic control, traffic is insane in
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afghanistan. so you'll see traffic lights but they don't work. they are not so concerned with chasing criminals. what they are concerned with is protecting themselves and protecting the villagers. in a lot of places throughout afghanistan, the police might be the only thing that's separating the villagers from the taliban. they are what would be more considered a paramilitary source. -- force. ufrptly prrp unfortunately they are not trained nearly as well as the taliban, they don't have the same equipment and they are greatly outnumbered by the enemy moving freely through afghanistan. so the focus of effort needed to be switched to say how do we fix that because the populations are concentrated in the districts and we needed to look at how we would fix the police in the districts, how we would train
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these folks and figure out who's, who should be in there and who shouldn't be. when i was in kabul, i worked very closely with the chief of police up there and with all the different sections of the police department in the capitol. kabul is made up of about 5 million people in the capitol, it's a very concentrated area, very congested. there are about 15,000 police officers in kabul, just the capitol city alone. trying to get your arms around that, it's really difficult to explain. here in the united states we have background checks, people know where you've been, what you've been doing since you were born. so by the time you are 18 years old, everybody knows who's who, you can go on to your facebook account and figure out what you've done for your last 18 years. you don't have that in afghanistan. a lot of these
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people that come in and want to be soldiers or policemen can only be veted by the elders in the village. so you don't know who you are. what we tried to do was bring in bio metrics and you'll probably read about that now, how do we reset and establish a good background way to determine who should be armed and who should be in uniform over there and who shouldn't be and that's some of the things we were doing. corruption is very real. but it's acceptable. we don't like it but in afghanistan, people accept corruption as a way of life. so another challenge was how do we change the mind set, how did we make people realize it's not right to do the kind of things they were doing which was grafting, taking money and being a corrupt society, taking
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money from people just to move throughout their town. one of the ways we did that was trying to be sure we took people and spent time with the police officers themselves. we probably spent way too much -- too much emphasis on contractors early on and the problem with that was we would send our contractor force out, they may have been the only people out there doing the training, and what would happen when the threat increase took place, the contractors would remain on the safety of the compound. this could go on for days or weeks. the frustration came from the afghans because they relied on that training on a daily basis. so the person that was with them training them may not be there now for days or weeks at a time. so we kind of changed that around and said we need to take our armed personnel and put them out there and spend time with these folks day in and day out, not only built
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trust between us and the afghans but it gave them the ability to prg on a daily basis. so the other frustration was the coalition effort. there was a lot of people with great intentions willing to help shared by many different countries. the frustration was many different countries, there's many different ways of doing things. so we would be out there telling the afghans, this is how you conduct police operations, this is how we do police training, this is how you hold your weapon and engage the enemy, and then several weeks later another force would come in and not that it was necessarily wrong, but it was different. so from the afghan perspective, incredibly frustrating to understand where they are going and what they need to be doing and what is right and what is wrong. so in closing if someone were to ask me from 2010 to where
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we're at now, is there hope i would say, yes, there is. as we stand down our combat forces and shift to an advisory and a training role i think we're going to be able to take our lessons lerbed -- learned and ensure that we can continue to build on what we've done. there were some great success stories. one of the things we worked on a lot was trying to bring women into the policing, something that was unheard of only a few years ago. nina talked about the teachers but there was women who wanted to be police officers, there was women who had death threats against them from their own families and were actually serving as police officers in hiding because they wanted to do something that was important. so that was, to me that was a huge success story. but i think what we need to do is reset our vetting process, put more bio metrics in and
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ensure that we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the afghans as they try to build and then we teach the afghans to help themselves. and i think that's where we're going to see our success down the road. thank you. (applause). >> thank you, barry, now it's lieutenant commander serrano and captain napalitano >> good morning, everyone, i'm pleased to be here today to tell you about an exercise we conducted this past summer in hawaii as part of rim of pacific exercise which involved 22 participating nations and this offered us a venue to be able to conduct a humanitarian and disaster relief exercise with all the different partners that we had together and
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collaborating with this exercise, this offered a perfect opportunity for us to introduce the military capabilities and interaction in exchange with our civil military partners as well. the exercise was located on oh oahu we had used that island as a fictitious island of chianti where we wanted to do a humanitarian response but it also provided us an avenue for the state-wide partners, the civil hawaiian partners, to be able to exercise their exercise as well. this exercise also allowed us the opportunity to intro daus a lot of technology to help with the interoperatability of the civil military exercise. one of the main goals that we had for this was to allow our
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military a crisis response adaptive force package and opportunity to allow their training and certification in providing the most appropriate military expeditionary force for that scenario. one of the things that we realize in the military when we do these exercises in a foreign humanitarian response, that a lot of our military capabilities are not just for overseas foreign disasters but it also allows the military to be trained and certified to respond to local domestic disaster situations as well. i had mentioned that we had 22 nations participating in rimpac and this slide is a representation of the military and civilian partners that we
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had participating in this event. and we had many, many international partners and we had a lot of domestic partners: medical and military editionary partners as well. okay, this is our command and control slide. we took a lot of care to get this right. we wanted to make sure that we portray that we're there to assist and support the government that has requested our service to be there. we wanted to make sure that our forces that are responding in a military environment go in with the right knowledge and the right attitude and you can see the tactical unit at the bottom there and the crisis response civil military operations center that was there to provide the command and control of those tactical units responding on the military side, this provided a perfect
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environment and opportunity for them to be able to interact with the civilian partners and provide the most appropriate response and understanding. very complex and again i just want to reiterate that the military, we know when we're responding in this type of environment that we're not coming in with the heavy capability and saying don't worry, we're here to help you and take over, we're here to complement and support you with the appropriate ways that you request our needs. the next few slides that i'm going to go over here shows some of the military capability and how some of those responses that we did during this exercise can also be applied at home in a domestic environment such as a response to maybe an earthquake here in san francisco. so the first part up there, you see a slide of some of the military that's getting ready to do some
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mapping and underwater environment general location to see what's going on with the piers, and then the next picture down here, the military also has the capability to bring response to be able to clear the ports and the channels to be able to open it up for maritime traffic in the bay. this part, this event, was the satellite, construction of a satellite medical facility. some of our military capability is we have the right engineers and people that can go in and rebuild infrastructure and support. so one of the things they did during this exercise, they actually went in there for about a week-long event and actually constructed a building and this also helps us it
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restore capability to wherever we are responding to. this shows a lot of different response here. this is our urban search and rescue event that was part of the overall exercise. we had a lot of different partners that responded to this rubble pile. we had urban search and rescue, u.s. coast guard, and this provided an opportunity for our military to work with the federal and state partners there in learning how to interact with their agencies and also being able to learn some of the different capabilities that they have in using their equipment. we also had some medical partners there where they were able to locate and evacuate the medical patients and that also showed a great partnership.
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this is the health care association for hawaii and this is the part of the agency that helped us coordinate the medical response part of this. they were able to conduct a 50-bed disaster medical assistance team hospital on the island of oahu and this allowed the state of hawaii to be able to exercise their state-wide disaster drill. one of the things that hawaii has never been able to do is to be able to practice together in one live exercise. they have all of their processes, how they're going to respond in a local disaster situation, but they have never been able to really put that to use. and being able to partner with us during the rimpac exercise offered them the opportunity to do that. we also had a lot of civil
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military interaction by us providing a lot of capability for them to be able to exercise their disaster plan as well. you see some patients here in the moulage. they were able to moulage and fake wounds and put triage information on over 125 casualty actor patients. and we were able to triage them tlau that 50-bed hospital system in hawaii and then they were evacuated to area hospitals for the state of hawaii, one of their capability gaps in the -- during their disaster situations is going to be the routes of evacuation and with the military's response providing the helicopters in an
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air evacuation, we were able to go ahead and test that response system. we were able to send patients to 13 area hospitals through that air evacuation and we had over 23 participating hospitals in different scenarios that were participating. we had the state of hawaii was also able to process over 300 patients through their patient tracking system. so the hospitals were able to use the patients, actually the medical staff from their area hospitals to provide the number of patients that went to each hospital and that provided each hospital's own casualty scenario. again you see some of these pictures here, the military preparing these civilian patients for transfer. we even went as far as
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evacuating patients to maui the busses down there are the state of hawaii's bus evacuation system which are also used in evacuation. so this convenient tue, this vignette of hadr disaster exercise for hawaii also allowed us the opportunity for testing technology for that information sharing and interoperatability. apm was an online collaboration where we were able to share information and learn how to communicate with each other. one of the things that we realized is we have a problem with interchange of information where we actually are able to share that. and that was one opportunity that we were able to do that. quick net also participated
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with us, allowed us to be able to have civil social interaction with the military and have us be able to interchange with them and knowing what type of response we had. intelligence carry on program and deployable joint command and control are two of the systems that were used by the military to collect information and organize it appropriately so that we were able to respond and interact with the civilian agencies. so for the take aways, it provided us an opportunity for real exchange and interaction. the military has a lot of capability and sometimes we don't always know how best to modify that in an appropriate response and being able to get together and practice the situation allowed us to understand each other better. the les